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Importing Pets to the USA

Frequently Asked Questions

We know how important your furry family member is to you and we want to make sure you have all the information you need to ensure they travel safely.

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How does the import process work?

Once you've submitted the quote request and paid the invoice, you'll be introduced to a booking specialist. They will gather all of the details we need to clear your pet through customs and arrange either a meet & greet or local delivery home to you. They'll also communicate with you on the day of arrival to give you updates on the clearance process and estimated delivery time or pick up time.

Please note that this quote is for import & customs clearance in the United States only. You'll need to make your own export arrangements either by working directly with any airline or a local pet shipper in your pet's origin country.

You are also responsible for obtaining the CDC import permit if  you have a dog traveling from a high-risk country to the United States.

What airport can my pet fly into?

We can provide customs-only services at any US airport.

However, if you need our physical assistance at the airport and/or local delivery, then your pet must arrive into one of the following airports:

  • MIA (Miami, FL)
  • ATL (Atlanta, GA)
  • BOS (Boston, MA)
  • LGA (LaGuardia, NY)
  • JFK (Queens, NY)
  • EWR (Newark, NJ)
  • PHL (Philadelphia, PA)
  • IAD (Dulles, VA)
  • DFW (Dallas, TX)
  • IAH (Houston, TX)
  • ORD (Chicago, IL)
  • LAX (Los Angeles, CA)
  • SFO (San Francisco, CA)
  • SEA (Seattle, WA)
How much does customs clearance cost?

Our Customs Clearance charges are $750 for a weekday arrival.

Additional services & fees:

  • Holiday/Weekend/After Hours Arrivals: $100
  • Airport Assistance: $100
    • One of our drivers will meet your pet at the airport to handle all cargo arrival procedures after customs has cleared. They can then bring your pet and meet you at a nearby location for you to bring your pet home. This also includes fresh water and a nice walk for dogs.
  • Home delivery within 30 miles of the airport: $150
    • Deliveries over 30 miles are subject to driver availability and will have additional fees based on mileage.
What are the requirements for importing my pet into the United States?

Your booking coordinator will work with you to ensure your pet is fully compliant with coming into the US.

Click here to see the general rules for importing a pet into the United States.

If you have a dog traveling from a high-risk rabies country, there are additional requirements outlined on the CDC website.

**Please remember that we do not handle getting the CDC import permit for you — this is your responsibility.

How much notice do you need to provide US import services?
We require at least 5-7 business days to arrange your pet's customs clearance, import procedures, and/or local delivery. This is lead time begins from the time you sign the proposal and pay the deposit.
Does your service include export services and airfare?

NO. This quote only is to handle customs clearance and import procedures once your pet arrives in the United States. You are responsible for arranging export services from your country origin, either by working directly with an airline or a local pet shipper in your area.

👉 However, if you'd like us to quote you for a full-service move, which does include export services, please let us know and we can send you a separate proposal.

Will you obtain the CDC import permit for me?
NO. If your dog is traveling from a high-risk rabies country, you are responsible for applying for & obtaining the CDC import permit on your own. You can read more about this process here.
What is your refund and date change policy?

In the event that you need to cancel your move after you've signed up with us, the following refund schedule will apply:

  • 0-7 days after the proposal is signed: 100% refund, minus any payment processing fees (~6%).
  • 8-21 days after the proposal is signed: 66% of your total payment will be refunded.
  • 22-45 days after the proposal is signed: 33% of your total payment will be refunded.
  • Over 45 days or within 5 days of your pet's planned travel date: 10% of your total payment will be refunded.

❗👉 Our Pet Protection Plan (a recommended add-on) includes $500 of cancelation protection! We'll refund you up to $500 if you added the Pet Protection Plan when you signed the proposal.

What are your terms and conditions?

By accepting our proposal, you agree to Starwood Pet Travel's General Terms and Conditions. By signing the proposal, you also acknowledge that you have reviewed the quote notes found under the Packages & Pricing heading. If you decide after this contract has been signed that you do not want to move forward for any reason, Starwood will issue you a refund, minus any costs that have already been incurred (including employee hours and materials).

You also understand that our quote can change depending on circumstances out of the control of Starwood or any of its agents, including due to airline delays outside of our control. In the event that additional costs are incurred, Starwood will let you know in writing the reason for and the amount of the additional costs. Additional costs within ten (10) days of travel must be paid within 24 hours of notice via a credit card. Additional costs can be incurred for many reasons, but most commonly for the purchase of a larger airline approved travel kennel on the day of transport due to improper sizing; the increase in airfare because of a differently sized travel kennel; animal care services which may include veterinary services, if necessary; or animal boarding due to a travel delay, flight cancellation, or rejection at check-in because of the temperature.

Snub-Nosed or Brachycephalic breeds (e.g., pugs and bulldogs) can be particularly vulnerable to respiratory problems in stressful situations and can be more sensitive to heat. Due to this, some airlines have special breed restrictions or requirements to ensure that pets travel safely. This may include using a larger kennel size to ensure proper airflow or temperature restrictions. The route listed in our quote has been selected to ensure your pet is able to travel. Senior pets may also be more vulnerable to the stressors of transport (though no airlines have restrictions on age). While travel is generally very safe, we may ask you to sign a form indicating you understand the inherent risks of travel & your wishes in case of emergency. We will always do everything we can to ensure the safety of your pet by screening and working with the best transport partners, but it is incumbent upon you to seek veterinary advice for your specific situation & pet. It is ultimately up to your veterinarian to screen & approve your higher-risk pet for travel.

Please note these upcoming holidays and dates when our offices will be closed and we will be unable to transport pets: Nov 23rd-27th, Dec 24th-26th, & Dec 31st-Jan 1st.

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We are only transporting cats and dogs at this time. 

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